Orphism (art)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Orphism (religion)

Orphism or Orphic cubism, is a term coined in 1912 France by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. He used the French term Orphisme to label the paintings of Robert Delaunay, relating them to Orpheus, the poet and symbol of the arts of song and the lyre in Greek mythology. The term may also be used in reference to the paintings of Delaunay's wife, Sonia Terk and to the Czech painter, František Kupka along with other members of the Puteaux Group.

Founded by Jacques Villon, the orphists were rooted in cubism but moved toward a pure lyrical abstraction, seeing painting as the bringing together of a sensation of bright colors. The movement influenced artists such as Patrick Henry Bruce and Andrew Dasburg as well as members of the German Blaue Reiter group and the Canadian and American Synchromist movement. The movement is seen as key in the evolution of Cubism to Abstraction. More concerned with the expression and significance of sensation, this movement retained recognisable subjects but was absorbed by increasingly abstract structures.

Orphism aimed to gradually dispense with recognisable subject matter and to rely on form and colour alone to communicate meaning. The movement also aimed to express the ideals of Simultanism-the existence of an infinitude of interrelated states of being.

Orphism is also defined as an ancient Greek mystery religion arising in the sixth century B.C. from a synthesis of pre-Hellenic beliefs with the Thracian cult of Zagreus and soon becoming mingled with the Eleusinian mysteries and the doctrines of Pythagoras.

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